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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

            Are you afraid of the future? Yea guess what, me too! And so is pretty much everyone else no matter what age. I promise even your friends who seem like they have it all together think about the future. It’s even worse for those of us that have anxiety. A big contributor to my anxiety is the unknown. Sometimes, those things are a little more easily predictable than others. Like sure I know that in the short-term future I’ll be going to class and then going home to my wonderful roommates, cooking dinner, and probably watching a movie. Realistically, though, I know I won’t be in college forever. Pretty much all my life up until I got to NC State was working towards going to college. As I’m approaching my final year, that idea has been floating around in the back of my mind, as I’m sure it has for many of y’all, too.  

            I don’t think I really came to terms with this until a few weekends ago when my boyfriend and I were going on a walk. As with pretty much everyone else around this time of year, he and his roommates were talking about what they were going to do about living situations next year. I tried to avoid the question of where I was living, not because I didn’t want to tell him but because I didn’t know myself. Still don’t! I found out that I’ll be graduating a semester early. So, what do I do? Do I sign a lease for 6 months, or another 12 months? Should I go straight to grad school afterwards? Do I work for a year? Oh boy, here we go. 

            If I thought that question was bad, what was next was worse. “What are you going to do after school?”. I nearly stopped in my tracks. I didn’t know, was I going to work? In the field I want to go into it’s unlikely that I’ll find a job in North Carolina. Which means I’ll have to move. Away from the only home I’ve ever known and all my people. So, yea I’m stressed about the future. And like I said, so is EVERYONE else. When I asked him the same question he just said, “either get a job or go to grad school”. It made me feel better that he didn’t have it all figured out either!  

            One of the things I’m great at is worrying about the future, or things I can’t control. But if I’m good at that, I’m equally as good at planning to figure out what my next steps are. So, I set up a meeting with the CEO of the company that I’m interning for. And set up another meeting with a professor. And then set up another meeting with someone who is currently working in the industry I plan to go into. Just so that I can soak up all that information that they probably wish they had when they were my age. Theres always more information, and new perspectives that people have, and all of these ideas can help you. Most people, professors and professionals alike are more than happy to talk to you about what your next steps are. What I’ve encountered is that people are actually so excited to see someone taking initiative and will answer any question you have. I promise the more people you talk to, the better off you’ll be. 

            So, yea, the future is scary. But it’s also exciting and full of new things. New people, opportunities, experiences, emotions. All of those things can be good too! Think about when you first started college. I would hope that everyone has found at least something new that they like (even if it’s just a new food!). All of those new things that you’ve grown to learn and love wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t taken the leap. So even though it’s scary, it’s also exciting. It’s really true that the way you frame things can completely change your perspective. So next time you catch yourself worrying about next steps, try and remind yourself how exciting it will be! There are plenty of steps you can take to plan too, so go and talk to those people who know what they’re doing! Dreams can’t become goals if you don’t have a plan!

Hey everyone! I'm Savannah and I'm a senior at State! I'm double majoring in psychology and film studies, and work for a film data analytics company! In my free time you can find me going on walks, listening to podcasts and trying out new recipes!